Rural services

Agricultural property

With a reputation for understanding the complexities of estate management and agricultural property, we provide intelligent, practical and proactive solutions across a broad range of issues.

Iain Davis and the team at Freeths have extensive experience of the agrarian sector, regularly working with landed estates, farmers and landowners in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley area.

With 4 partners and 8 other qualified lawyers in our Agriculture and Rural Affairs department, we are able to provide a broad and in-depth service to our clients, supporting them in the issues they face in a knowledgeable and pragmatic way.

Ranked in the top tier of both Legal 500 and Chambers directories, our team is recognised for its expertise in handling the sale and purchase of rural properties and advising landed estates on tax and wealth planning.

Property and Landed Estates

We advise landowners, landed estates and farmer on a wide range of matters, including:

Wealth Planning, Tax and Advisory

We have significant experience of advising on tax planning, trusts, and succession planning. Particular areas of expertise include:
  • tax (including inheritance tax, capital gains tax, VAT and stamp duty land tax).

Examples of Our Work

Our work ranges from the acquisition, development and disposal of landed estates, farms and bare agricultural land, to advice on agricultural tenancies, farm business tenancies, and environmental matters. Recent examples include:
  • Drafting an option agreement for over 195 acres of farmland to a national house builder
  • Drafting and negotiation of promotion agreement over 215 acres of farm land on the edge of Thame
  • Securing a hybrid agreement for an Oxford College for over 400 dwellings 
  • Acting for the acquisition of a complex and diverse 480 acre unregistered landed estate in Wales; contracts were exchanged within one month of instructions being received 
  • Acting in the sale of a greenfield site with residential planning permission for £5.5m 
  • Acting in the sale of a greenfield site for development by major landed estate client with complex uplift provisions. The sale was by way of contract race with exchange of contracts taking place within 24 hours of papers being issued.

News Articles

Our lawyers regularly write informative articles relating to issues within the agricultural property sector. Click here to read their recent publications. 

Testimonials

“At Freeths, team head Iain Davis ‘is first class on option agreements’; Sarah Duffy ‘looks for solutions, not problems’; and Nigel Roots is ‘excellent for inheritance tax planning and family trusts’.”

The Legal 500, The Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015 Edition

“Clients prize Iain Davis's dedication to ensuring their transactions are completed.”

Chambers & Partners, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015 Edition

Contacts Us

To discuss your needs in detail and how we can help, contact Iain Davis, head of our agricultural team. For more information from our Agricultural Property team, email us here

Freeths
5000 Oxford Business Park South
Oxford 
OX4 2BH

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 781000
Fax: +44 (0)1865 778504


Legal 500 Top Tier 2016Chambers Leading Firm 2016Legal 500 Top Tier 2015 Firm LogoLegal 500 - top tier 2014 The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Testimonials

"Freeths LLP provides ‘a comprehensive legal service to estate and rural property owners’, and has ‘great attention to detail, and an appreciation of long-term client relationships’. The firm’s industry expertise spans the charities, education, professional services and insurance sectors, among others, and the team regularly handles the acquisition and disposal of farms, landed estates, woodlands and other agricultural assets. Practice head Iain Davis is ‘a leading expert who is well qualified in landed property matters’; he recently advised an Oxford college on the grant of a building license with associated tax, construction, overage and property provisions. In another highlight, the ‘practical and professional’ Sarah Duffy advised a farming family on the £10m sale of a 22 acre development site in Oxfordshire to a national housebuilder. Other leading figures include Jane Maitland, who ‘provides wise counsel and a calm approach in difficult circumstances’, Samantha Leigh, who is ‘conscientious, thorough and technically spot-on’, and Balvinder Jaj."

The Legal 500, The Clients' Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2017 dition

"Freeths’ ‘diligent and experienced’ team is noted for its ‘well-rounded, client-focused advice’. Agricultural property specialist Iain Davis leads the six-partner team and stands out for his knowledge of housing developments. Also recommended are the ‘extremely user-friendly’ Samantha Leigh and Jane Maitland, who is a key name for succession planning. Clients include the Carington Estate and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution."

The Legal 500, The Clients' Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016 Edition

"They really have a handle on the market when it comes to farming, agricultural land and tax issues. They do it a lot and they do it well"

"Extremely high-quality and user-friendly service - the team gives actionable advice in a timely manner"

Chambers and Partners, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016 Edition

"At Freeths, the team head Iain Davis 'is first class on option agreements'; Sarah Duffy 'looks for solutions, not problems'; and Nigel Roots is 'excellent for inheritance tax planning and family trusts'."

The Legal 500, The Clients' Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015 Edition

"Freeths’s ‘very strong and experienced team' is co-headed by the ‘very proactive' Iain Davis and ‘very good' Jane Maitland. It has seen an increase in development-related instructions, and acts for clients such as The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and Trinity College, Oxford. Lesley Pollock has ‘a rare combination of skill, expertise, and the ability to empathise and advise'."

The Legal 500, The Clients' Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014 edition

"Samantha was highly impressive and her straight forward, client friendly, approach was a refreshing change. "

Nick Mead of The Buying Solution (part of the Knight Frank Group)

"the group is very practical. It makes an effort to visit properties and to understand the issues."

Chambers and Partners, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2013 edition

"according to clients, Iain Davis 'is one of the best agricultural practitioners we deal with'"

Chambers and Partners, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2009 edition